It has been almost two years since I started Renzokuken Gaming. In that time, I’ve reviewed 106 games, awarded 34 Ham Awards, 3 Golden Ham Awards, written 93 posts and recorded 7 videos. I also had help from Davide at the beginning. I tried to cover different topics as well as provide “quick” reviews. At the end of 2021, I even dabbled in some video content. 2022 saw me expand this further, with more videos. They might not be the best produced but it gave me a chance to step further outside of my comfort zone. They also allowed me to add to the site when I was short on time, even if I didn’t have proper equipment to record (they were all done on a phone). I tried to ensure there was something new every week, a new post that looked at things differently, explored my memories of gaming. I covered things such as video game narratives, soundtracks, video game rentals and even focused on individual games. Unfortunately, my time has become very limited and that is why there is more video content than written ones lately. As my two-year subscription on the site comes to an end, I’ve decided it is time to say goodbye to it.
This site was originally just a new experience for me. In May 2020, before I launched the site, I was in lockdown, suffering from anxiety. I wanted to do something to take my mind off it but lacking confidence in doing video content, my wife convinced me to try blogging. As Sharon said, “if you don’t feel comfortable, you can always stop but you have to at least try”, and try I did. It may not have been successful but I’m proud of myself for trying. I thought I would run out of ideas quickly but they just kept coming to me. I may not have been able to articulate them as well as others but I gave it a bash. I found myself thinking of multiple things to write about during the week and then putting aside a Sunday to formulate them to the site. It may not have been the best practice but I made do with the time I had. As 2020 rolled into 2021, I was conscious that others would judge me, or worse, just not care but then I started to just simply enjoy it. So what if some people didn’t like it or even read it, I wanted to try something I’d never done before. I became more confident, that’s why I was able to try a video post with my Xbox memories. Of course, that’s not to say I wasn’t appreciative of people who read my posts. I was so glad when someone did, so happy that someone could find some form of enjoyment from it. The support I got from people was amazing, people I’d never met, people who never interacted with me on social media before. I never really promoted the site outside of tweets. I never really tagged anyone in my posts but I did message them to let them know I had mentioned them. When people would share my posts on social media, I would become nervous. However, I was secretly happy that they found the content worthy to be shared. I never talked about the site in real life either, preferring it to be an unknown amongst my family. Yet, when some found out, they were incredibly supportive and I am very grateful to them.
I had enjoyed reviewing games with my own little twist. Sure, they’re not anywhere near as in-depth as others but that was always my objective. I wanted them to be quick reads where people could get an idea about a game and investigate it further if they wanted to. I also wanted the posts to be unique to me. Sure, I did some “list” posts but I didn’t want to be bogged down in constant “Top 10” lists. I did have some ideas for “Top 10” lists, such as favourite Mario Kart tracks or favourite Final Fantasy moments but there never felt like a right time to do them. Even when I did the “7 Beat’em Ups I’d Like to See Return” post, I decided to not make that type of post a regular. I did have some fun with Rocky while doing this. I loved when I could add him in, whether it was having him pick 13 horror games or his advent calendar. Even in the last two videos, I added a small clip of him at the end. The whole ratings system I came up with was based around him and his big fluffy head. I did like trying my hand at videos but I’m still not 100% sure if I want to revisit them. I left them unlisted not because I wanted people to come through the site but because I was unsure of myself. Despite making progress with my anxiety over the last two years, I am still not confident with videos. A bit odd when you consider I set up a blog site, I know, but I have some quirks left. Even when people said they would watch them later, I would tell them not to bother, not as a joke but genuinely because I felt they could do something better with their time. This feeling will probably never go away but thank you to everyone who encouraged me to try.
While I’ve had a lot of fun with the majority of the posts, “Sleeping Dogs and Sleepless Nights” was a hard one to write. It took me months to think about how and when to write it. I almost didn’t but I felt the message of remembrance was important. I skirted around what had actually happened because it was very painful (it still is), instead focusing more on two moments in our lives. Many may have already deduced what happened but I want you to know that you are never alone, its ok to cry sometimes and its ok to talk about it. Talking about it really can lift a burden. I also what to say a big thank you to everyone who supported me when I shared the post. It’s hard to describe how much your well wishes were appreciated but just know I am incredibly grateful to you all.
Although I have enjoyed this blog, I feel now is the time to say goodbye to it. I moved house before Christmas and changed job not long after. As a result, my time has become incredibly limited. I’ve struggled to find time to sit down and write anything, to find time to play games and, well, just do anything related to gaming (except buy games it seems). With the new house, I have a multitude of projects to keep me going, from the kitchen to the back yard. With work, my hours have changed and with everything opening back up, I’m back to commuting. It’s amazing how much time can be lost when you’re not working from home. It saddens me but I can no longer try to keep up with the site. I wanted to have something new every week and at least one new review every month but that hasn’t happened in recent times. I may come back to it at a later date or I may jump into YouTube to see how that goes, but only time will tell. In the meantime, the site will remain active for another few weeks just in case you’re curious as to my online adventure.
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to visit my site, to give feedback and to encourage me. I also want to say thank you to Sharon, for being there when I needed you, for encouraging me to try something new, and for putting up with my nonsense for so many years. Finally, thank you Rocky for being the real star of the show.
Go raibh maith agaibh agus slán go fóill.